A7 Senior Pioneer squad deals Bobcats third JPC cage loss
A lack of varsity experience on the part of the Houghton Lake varsity boys basketball team loomed large as they hosted a Clare team stacked with seniors, leaving the floor with their third Jack Pine Conference loss (76-37) Tuesday night.
“Our inexperience really showed last night,” said Houghton Lake Coach L.J. Mead, “we had too many turnovers.” Mead said the loss of senior captain Kasey Turner in the Bobcats’ game against Gladwin also hurt them against the Pioneers. He said Turner, who suffered a concussion and a separated shoulder, is expected to be off the court for three to four weeks.
The Pioneers tripled the Bobcats’ scoring output in the first quarter, which ended 21-7, then out-scored them again in the second 13-4 for a halftime count of 34-11. Houghton Lake stepped up their scoring in the second half, scoring 13 points in both the third and fourth quarters, but so did Clare, scoring 23 and 20 points, respectively.
“They’re just really solid,” said Mead, noting that the Pioneers have 10 seniors on their squad, some of whom have been playing basketball together “since first grade.” He said his Bobcats are still looking for “someone to emerge as a scorer.”
Senior Kyle Akin led the Bobcat scoring effort against Clare with nine points and four rebounds, while sophomore Jared Dull came up with eight points, five rebounds and two steals. Other scorers for the ’Cats included freshman Nathan Shavalia with six points and six rebounds, senior Pat Gaitan with six points, two rebounds and three steals, senior Tim Malcomson with four points, four rebounds and three steals, senior Eric Hurst with two points and two rebounds and junior Kevin Stefankiewcz with two points.
Mead said the Bobcats are taking the loss in stride, and that “goal number one is to beat Roscommon.” The Bobcats, who are now 2-6 overall and 2-3 in JPC action, travel to face their cross-county rivals Jan. 13.